The Irish Terrier, according to the Kennel Club, is one of the oldest types of terrier, originally used to hunt vermin. He is a long legged, medium sized dog, typically strong willed and brave. He is aproportionate, square shaped dog with a harsh red coat which needs regular grooming and care. Temperament will vary as with all breeds, so if he is to be a family pet, this will be the key thing to check. An Irish Terrier with a good temperament would make a good, fun loving, energetic family pet. Daily exercise is essential with plenty of free running. He will need to be well trained to come back when called.
Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)
The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 8.3% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'
Effective Population Size - EPS115.6
EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.
Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)
Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:
DNA Tests Available
- Hereditary Footpad Hyperkeratosis (HFH)
- Degenerative Myleopathy (DM)
Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes
Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.
Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)
- Hyperkeratosis (abnormal development of the foot pad)
- Urolithiasis (formation of stones in the urinary system – may cause kidney failure)
- Central core myopathy (causes exercise intolerance, skeletal weakness and cardiomyopathy)
Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.
Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.
You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP): www.puppycontract.org.uk
You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding: